Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.
The Republic of Ireland will set out to enjoy their first Women's World Cup, but may make life miserable for other teams.
World Cup Appearances: 0
Best Performance at a World Cup: 2023 will be their debut.
Players to watch
Arsenal star Katie McCabe is a tireless, physical and skillful midfielder. She is capable of playing out wide, at full back or in the centre if need be.
McCabe is as well known for her ability to impose herself on the contest and the opposition. She defends as well as she attacks and will be a player Australian fans will be wary of.
One they will be familiar with is Denise O’Sullivan. The playmaker starred for the Western Sydney Wanderers and Canberra United in two loan spells between 2018 and 2020. O’Sullivan is nowv with North Carolina Courage in the NWSL and is at the peak of her powers.
She has a rocket of a right boot and will dominate midfield if given the chance to. When the Republic of Ireland defeated Australia 3-2 in 2021, she was one of the architects and goal scorers. This is a player to cherish, or fear [depending on which game she is playing in, from an Australian perspective]
The Republic of Ireland have been pretty quiet since their dramatic qualification at the expense of Scotland. They have only played three matches since, a 0-0 draw with China followed by two losses to the USA. The 2-0 and 1-0 defeats were not overly concerning against the reigning champions, especially as both teams are ironing out wrinkles before the tournament. However, it makes it hard to judge their form.
They will enter to finals stages of their preparation with games against Zambia and France in starting in June.
They should expect to defeat Zambia comfortably, and a strong performance against France will have Australian fans slightly nervous before the big match on July 20.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths: Defensively they have a very strong record. In all of 2022, the Republic of Ireland conceded just three goals in 10 games, with only one of those coming in the Qualifying tournament.
Under Vera Pauw they have become adept at the 1-0 win, although this does not mean that they play dour football. When given the chance against Georgia they piled on nine goals in a dominant display.
The qualifying win over Scotland was on a knife edge for much of the game. Amber Barrett’s 72nd minute goal was enough to create history, and the same Scotland team that recently defeated Australia could not find a way past them. The momentum from that result may have worn off, but the big game confidence will remain.
The Republic of Ireland will be vocally supported, they have the on-field talent and a strong mentality. The key to beating them rests in scoring two goals, only the USA have done that in the last 12 months.
Weaknesses: The Republic or Ireland are inexperienced at this level and have limited depth in their squad. If they get involved in a shootout, they may struggle to score multiple goals against strong opposition, although they did manage to put three past Australia in 2021.
They are a well-organized team, but if they suffer any significant injuries, to key players, they will struggle to replace them, whether that is in or between games.
With the talent they have at their disposal, anything short of the knockout stages will be disappointing.
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